The Meeting of the Wheat Review Committee on Wheat 2021-22 Crop was held today on 27th September, 2021 under the Chair Syed Fakhar Imam, Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, Islamabad. Representatives of all Provincial Food Departments, PASSCO and senior officials of NFS&R attended the meeting. The Minister welcomed the participants and thanked for their participation and invited them all to share their feedback and recommendations for the development of wheat crop mainly to ensure food security in the country. The minister was apprised of the latest wheat production estimates, wheat stock positions, wheat carry forward and procurement progress and update on wheat release price and minimum support price.
Minister said that every year almost 50-60 lakh people are added to our population which increases the total demand of wheat of the country. He said that through managing the controllable factors which include availability of high quality of seed that is rust resistant and certified, effective utilization of water and proper usage of fertilizers and pesticides, overall production of wheat can be significantly increased. He stressed that both the overall area under cultivation and per hectare yield needs to be increased.
Federal Minister sensitized the provincial food departments about the timely finalization of the Minimum Support Price. Fakhar said that for the MSP to be effective it should be finalized before the sowing season of wheat. He was briefed that the provinces have submitted their MSP proposals and are awaiting cabinet approvals.
Fakhar Imam was briefed that Punjab and KPK has finalized its wheat release policy at Rs. 1950/40 kg whereas retail price would be Rs. 1100/20 kg while the province of Sindh has yet to get final approval from its cabinet for its wheat release policy.
Federal minister was apprised by the provincial agricultural departments about the latest production figures of wheat. Punjab’s production is estimated at 20.9 MMT, Sindh’s production at 4.04 MMT, whereas KPK and GB’s production estimates stand at 1.45 and 1.15 MMT. Total wheat stock available with Punjab stands at 3.86 MMT, Sindh’s at 1.26 MMT, KPK’s at 0.18 MMT and Baluchistan’s at 0.085 MMT. Fakhar Imam said that the Government has been focusing on availability of certified seed and for the upcoming season, around 530,000 metric tons would be available including 160,000 Tons rust-tolerant varieties.
Fakhar keen on announcing MSP well before the start of sowing season. He said that government’s enhancement of MSP from Rs. 1400 to Rs 1800 produced a good result which helped the country in harvesting the highest crop (27.5 million tons). A number of factors helped in achieving this historic production including favorable weather conditions, availability of certified seed (513,000 Ton), availability of fertilizers and irrigation water, etc.
Fakhar Imam said that the government wishes to formulate a policy where every stakeholder is heard and all concerns are addressed. He said that an informed policy will be made before the sowing season to enhance wheat productivity and overall production. He also assured GB and AJ&K that the federal government is fully willing to supply wheat to wheat deficit areas from PASSCO’s stock.